Greensboro, NC -- Greensboro City Council voted in favor of a brand new performing arts center in downtown Greensboro, Tuesday night.
Council and members of the public went back and forth for about two hours before finally voting.
Council voted 6-3 in favor of the $60-million performing arts center in Greensboro that's been talked about for 18 months.
Council members Marikay Abuzuaiter, Dianne Bellamy-Small, and Tony Wilkins voted no.
Council voted to build it on a plot of land bordered by Lindsay Street, Summit Avenue, and Elm Street in downtown Greensboro.
The council also approved to spend $7.6 million for GPAC's capital fund budget.
Before voting, the mayor said this has been one of the most important agendas he's ever been a part of.
"It's a $60-million project and the private sector has raised $30 million in private donations for this city-owned facility, unprecedented, never done before in Greensboro and I think this is something we ought to jump on," said Mayor Robbie Perkins.
The city says the other $30 million dollars come from a combination of entertainment, ticket, and parking fees as well as a tax on hotel and motel fees.
Wednesday, Mayor Perkins told WFMY News 2, "This kick-starts our city. This is a transformational event for the city of Greensboro. It will affect the way our downtown is developed over the next 25 to 50 years. It's a very, very big deal."
Perkins knows there are critics of the project, but he said some people are always critical of new ideas. "We had 10,000-11,000 people vote against the downtown baseball stadium. It has been incredibly successful. We have had a lot of folks that doubted whether the Greensboro Aquatic Center could work. It has been incredibly successful. We even had 10 or 12,000 people sign a petition against the development of Lake Jeanette," Perkins said.
Council member Marikay Abuzuaiter voted against GPAC. She told WFMY News 2, "I was a performing arts major. I would love to see one, but right now, to me, it is not the time in this economy..."I really hope it succeeds. But, should it not succeed or meet expectations, then the shortfall will come out of our general fund and fall on the taxpayer's back. That is my biggest concern."
Several items regarding GPAC were voted on at Tuesday's meeting:
Council voted to maximize minority participation in construction of GPAC. That passed 8-0 with Bellamy-Small abstaining.
Council voted 6-3 to approve financing agreement for GPAC. Wilkins, Abuzuaiter, and Bellamy-Small voted against.
Council approved an ordinance for $7.6 million for capital fund budget for GPAC. Vote was 6-3.
Council voted 6-3 in favor of resolution to acquire property for the location of GPAC.
Council voted 6-3 in favor of using hotel/motel tax revenue for construction of GPAC.
WFMY News 2